It introduces the characters of Superintendent Battleand Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent. At the request of George Lomax, Lord Caterham reluctantly agrees to host a weekend party at his home, Chimneys. A murder occurs in the house, beginning a week of fast-paced events with police among the guests.
The novel was well received at first publication, described as more than a murder mystery, as it is a treasure hunt. Later reviews found it a first class romp and one of the author's best early thrillers. The most recent review says the novel requires a hefty suspension of disbelief. The later reviewers note that descriptions of characters use the terminology of the times in which it was written, and might be considered racist decades later.